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The Millennium Development Goals:
Towards a Civil Society Perspective on Reframing Poverty Reduction Strategies in Southern Africa

Neville Gabriel1


Presented at the UNDP MDGs Forum, Johannesburg, 2 - 4 July 2003

Posted with permission of the UNDP regional office, Pretoria.
[Complete version - 105Kb ~ 1 min (26 pages)]     [ Share with a friend  ]

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Especially since the mid-1990s, Southern African civil society organisations have consistently campaigned against poverty and for policy and governance transformation towards defined social development objectives. The Millennium Development Goals correspond directly with the objectives of civil society organisations that have been active in social and economic justice advocacy work in the region. However, Southern African civil society organisations have either ignored or been slow in taking up the Millennium Development Goals framework in their research, service provision, community organisation, and advocacy work. This has happened because of a lack of information and, in some cases, because the Millennium Development Goals have been seen as a global multilateral government concern in which civil society organisations have not had a stake. Meanwhile, there is increasing coordinated research, education, and advocacy work beginning to happen among Southern African civil society organisations in regard to the New Partnership for Africa's Development and the African Union. Linking the Millennium Development Goals and civil society concerns about the poverty reduction strategy of the New Partnership for Africa's Development, powerful possibilities exist to integrate the Millennium Development Goals into existing civil society campaigns and processes in the region towards more effective strategies and alliances.

  1. Neville Gabriel is the coordinator of the Justice and Peace department of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC). He is also a member of the board of directors of Transparency International (South Africa) and the board of trustees of the African Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD).

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